What’s New in Ubuntu 17.04?
Discover what’s new, improved, and removed in the latest release
UBUNTU 17.04 was released only a couple of months ago, and contains several new features and beneath-thehood changes. The release was overshadowed by the news that Canonical—Ubuntu’s developer—has decided to retire its current desktop, Unity. All development has been ceased, and while Unity 7 remains the default for this release, it will be replaced by the GNOME desktop in Ubuntu 17.10.
But what else is new in Ubuntu? One change—hidden from view—is that Ubuntu has switched from storing virtual memory in a separate, dedicated partition to using a swap file in a similar fashion to Windows. If you’re upgrading to Ubuntu 17.04 from an earlier release, the existing partition structure remains in place, but if you install from scratch, it defaults to a single partition with swap file. If you don’t like this, you can manually configure the swap partition during setup by using the “Something else” option. A word of advice: If you’re configuring a dual-boot system, don’t follow this step unless you’re supremely confident of what you’re doing. Driverless Printing An increasing number of printers work without the need for drivers—basically, if you have a printer marked as IPP Everywhere or Apple AirPrint compatible, you no longer need to install drivers to make it work in Ubuntu, a tricky process at the best of times. A handful of PDF, PostScript, and PCL printers also work, and all you need to do is plug them in via USB or Ethernet, then go to “Settings > Printers,” where you should find they’re already detected, and ready to use or configure. Under the Hood Ubuntu 17.04 bases itself on the Linux kernel 4.10, so you can run it on the latest Intel Kaby Lake and AMD Ryzen systems. It also includes a big bump in the Mesa 3D graphics library to version 17.0.2, while X.Org Server 1.19.2 is also included. Both have benefits for gaming.
The default apps have also been updated—most notably LibreOffice 5.3, which includes the new ribbon- based interface, and the Calendar, which now offers a weekly view. A full list of changes can be found at https:// wiki.ubuntu.com/ZestyZapus/ReleaseNotes, where you will find such incomprehensible delights as discovering Ubuntu 17.04 uses a new default tool—“systemdresolved,” as you asked—for resolving DNS addresses. Toward Ubuntu 17.10 If Ubuntu 17.04 is a relatively minor update, there are larger ripples on the horizon. We’ve mentioned how Ubuntu 17.10 will be the first version to sport the GNOME desktop, which will be tweaked for Ubuntu users. Canonical is busy integrating the current Ambiance and Radiance themes to work with GNOME, for example. However, certain features exclusive to Unity won’t be forthcoming in this next release—if you like the headsup display or global menus, you’ll have to source alternatives. Unity will remain an option if you upgrade from Ubuntu 17.04, or you’ll be able to install it as an alternative desktop on new Ubuntu 17.10 installs.
Ubuntu 17.10 will ship with a new default windowing system, replacing the X Window System (in the form of the X.Org Server) with a simplified replacement called Wayland, which comes with the promise of performance improvements, particularly when rendering 3D. X.Org Server should remain an option for now at the login screen, for backward compatibility purposes.
Printer setup just got a lot easier in Ubuntu 17.04 for IPP Everywhere and Apple AirPrint printers.